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Us 6, Simon 4, San Francisco 4, Rerecog Nizance 1, Jeff 1, The Data 1, Recog Nizance 1, Joe Sarco 1, Mirkarimi 1, California 1, Pretrialed 1, George GascÓn 1, Mr. Looeng 1, Offen 1,
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  SFGTV2    [untitled]  

    April 19, 2013
    1:44 - 2:13am PDT  

pretrial release, they have been very effective. i know will looeng of our shop can report on figures. i can give you ideas of jail dates that have been avoided. the numbers are significant. supervised release, we saved 43551 jail days. for 2011, with court atable accountable was 88059 and o.r. is 25,000. county sheriff's have been empowered to be able to use their discretion for early release
and to use our discretion to help reroute people into alternatives to incarceration with monitoring release. but in the program we have under crowding. our jail maximum population is about 2400. our average for the last 15 months has been under 1600 inmates per day. we are doing a great job as a city and what lines up between the public defender and district attorneys and the number of the parties at the table for san francisco is finding in rhythm on what we can do instead offen incarcerating as a first response but a latter response.
i would like to see where this progressive outlook is going. i also this i that 120301 in the penal code allows the supervisors to amend the translation for county sheriff to rewrite that eligiblity for early release even fore jail systems that are not over crowded. i think coming out of here is a potential reform as one who tries to second reconcile the bail bonds industry and the equity that exist from people who can not afford jail which are people of color and come from disadvantaged communities and the nationals in the state are affirmed in a city like san
francisco. we should not rest on our laurls in san francisco and realize that based on the demography that what exist inside our jail system continues with the management that we do want to consider some alternatives in the penal code those opportunities are providing for the county governments and county board of supervisors that empowers our local criminal justice partners to do just that. >> let me ask you, does the sheriff have the power to release an inmate despite the fact that a judge has set bail and they are unable to pay? >> we do. we have that through electronic monitoring or some other supervised facility. it has not been well applied. >> is that the only instance
that you are given that power in? electronic monitoring? >> through some kind of work if furlough or alternative situation. >> keep in mind, the county has been fairly light and i think both incarceration and those not in incarcerated because of credit time served they are doing a decent job of manage that go population because we didn't send many in the first place. that is giving us a leg up in a sophisticated and complicated population that has been exposed to the system and so that we can accelerate the process of reentry so we have a better exit plan so they hopefully do not return.
>> let's say you are dealing with somebody coming into system at their arrangement bail gets set and they are not even ready to post bail. do they have any power to release inmates where a bail has been set by a judge pending their trial? >> it depends on the classification of that inmate on a very case by case assessment because no sheriff would want to risk basic liability if something went awry. when they are high enough to give us a leap for that. our confidence level would have to be at a complete optimum to be sure there is not a blow back
from our policy. >> let me ask joe sarco on that most of us believe there is an an evaluation that a judge makes in making a determination whether someone whether or not should be released on their own rerecog nizance. your lawyers are in court everyday at arraignments arguing for monetary bail or agree that a defendant should be released on their own recog nizance. what factors do you think are most important when district attorneys in a court are making that recommendation to the judge? >> yes. thank you for the opportunity and the public defenders office and jeff, for
pro providing this forum. i believe that pretrial release should be based on three things, risk of violence, risk of reoffending or flight risk. i think that we have inject ed for many many years a commercial value to safety that i think needs to be reevaluated for the reasons that have been stated. the reality is that the current commercial value to the pretrial release has not only had an impact for minorities. 24 percent of hispanics do not get to bailout. about 35 percent of african americans do not get to bailout whereas white americans are right around 27 percent. but i think the problem we face is that we have not come up with good
predictors of risk. and often the dialogue that occurs between a judicial officer and a district attorney and a defense attorney where there is a public defender or private counsel is really a discussion that is based on perhaps the individuals current offense, it maybe based on the individual's history of offending. it's really not a scientific way of having a discussion around safety and around flight risk. often many of the people that are given very high dollar bails are people where the bench is looking where all the intents and purpose there is no real bail that is because this person is a real risky person or perceived to be risky and perhaps a better response to
this ought to be if we think this person and property is risky, there should be no bail. conversely if there is a way to evaluate that a person is not a danger to society and because of their evaluation of them that they will show up for court they will be released on their own recognizance. we have a high level of percentage wise of pretrial detentions as opposed to other counties. part of reason for that is because we have a very high level of alternative resolutions. for other counties for instance are barely using split sentences on the realignment. my option is meeting the state on the use of split sentencing which means a lot of people are out of jail way before they would be in any
other community. these are post sentencing people that in another county would be county towards the racial population in the circle they are in the community. there is also a large number of people in place on community base supervision where another communities these people would be doing their time and incarceration. that has a tendency to impact the ratios because on the sentencing part of it, we are much more likely to release somebody into community that many other counties are. and we believe that has worked well for us. the crime rate has not gone up, in other areas it's low. we are the only one to do so and we are the only urban counties that have under population but the other ones are rural counties. i believe we are doing well. i believe
with the sheriff's because we are doing well does not mean that we can't not do better. i believe we can do better. that someone is going to stay in custody in a pretrial setting should be really based on risk, risk of violence, risk of reoffending and/or is a flight risk. i think also as we looking at this, we need to push the whole concept of adjustment reinvestment. that needs to go to places to keep people coming into system in the first place. prevention models, more going towards public education and health is a long-term investment instead of putting into criminal justice system. i hope as we continue to develop this and other areas that we are focused in the whole concept and where
we can take money away without risking public safety and putting money in social services that are more likely over a long period of time to continue to reduce crime and continue to create a safe environment and environment where we would not necessarily need to have this large investment in the criminal justice system. [ applause ] >> to mr. gas skon. if we were to eliminate money bail in effect turn over a decision whether or not someone is in custody to a judge whether or not they have been violator likely to reoffending or a flight risk, do you think that kind of system would likewise get accused of discrimination
against the poor or racial minorities or do you think it would be more fair? >> i think it would be more fair. if you look at the fact that hispanics for instance are under the current system 4 percent more likely to be held on a pretrial setting than whites, 27 percent, we can show there is a disparity there. if we create a model that is based on evidence base risk factors that can be applied to the individual and the setting of that individual and can be done objectively not because an officer is making a decision but putting some kind of value system to those factors that are likely to
impact risk. i think we are probably going to have a much more equitable system than we are having today. having said that, i think we need to recognize that our criminal justice system is anything but equal. we have had a very in equitable system for many years. i don't think anybody in this room have question the fact that african american and minorities are always more negatively impact by the criminal justice system. the improvement of that process is a journey. i don't think it's a destination, but i think we can have a no commercial bill system that could be done more fairly if it is done based on some clear objectives in factors that are prestated so it's not something that is simply left to the individual judgment of a judicial officer to do so arbitrarily. >> let me ask mr. looeng,
perhaps you can tell the audience about the organization you lead and your experience with risk in needs assessment tools or the kind of evidence based factors that mr. gas skon is referencing. sn >> thank you, jeff, the project has in existence since 1976 and it's a non-profit organization. when we first came across this was a heavily needs base. we provide treatment and with the idea that you are going to impact the failure to appear or appearing in court and obviously recidivism. that's now jumping forward 30 or 20 years. in the last five years particularly you have heard these words in fact chief still
spoke about it, evidence base. in the last decade the single biggest change in our social services has been the use now of technology and i see it sort of akin to and i read an article recently. what you are trying to do now is obviously face risk decisions now on much more empirically based situation. now the pretrial diversion project and pretrial release is really the hummer so to speak. the district attorney and sheriff set the policy. we have been working or this base
practice for years. obviously the major stake holders, the district attorneys, the she rifs. just to give you an idea of the scope of what we are doing. approximately 1100 people come out of jail from our program. this time we are targeting somewhere around 1500 cases. prior to the last 3 or 4 years, the data that is now coming in, recidivism is around 6 or 7 percent, failure to appear rate or people to appear
in court is lower. they are walking people out of jail. we've just come out of a difficult 4-5 years and that is budget years with a lot of social services being cut and really at the end of the day when you are talking about it and talking about housing and talking about employment, you are talking about counseling; you are talking about substance abuse. when there is not access to those services and you are trying to wrap it around. come full circle to your question, how do you now relate to the risk assessment or the much more refine instrument? i totally agree that there has to be this instrument that
assesses risk and where as 20 years ago, there is risk assessment side. what you have to do is realize limited resources. we simply must focus ourn our energies now. you have to focus your services and get obviously the return. that's where the services have been. there has been a tremendous advantage in the last 5 years. everyday our office is changing. i fully expect that as this is happening now, our case managers, the challenge for our case managers, they are going to have to adapt to look at these practices in the same way. but you can't substitute great case manager and social services and that's really how it wraps into what we do. >> before i get to miss dewint,
i want to give professor simon a chance to say a few words. i'm wondering professor if you can context lies this discussion historically and whether or not there has ever been a large or successful movement in this state towards the elimination of money bail? >> now you are going stump me by starting off with an empirical question i can't answer. first i'm very honored to be here with plenty of officials. i have tenure so let me be blunt. we are speaking about building a system which we call mass incarceration. we have many of people who don't need to be locked up and that
is to provide public safety. that's one of the reasons i see bail as so critical. it's not a sexy topic. it's one of the reasons it's languaged for decades. it's really the beginning that leads to incarceration and i would suggest to you that what happens beginning with the failure of the bail reform effort of 60s to achieve a constitutional right to bail. i would like to come back to that because if the constitutional rights can find to incarcerate, they can talk about bail. i think what is so dangerous about that moment and it came to a surface in the bail reform act of 1984, the federal law, the birth of preventative
detention which one thought was clearly unconstitutional and then became a public good that changed the whole view of a system. now we live in a justice preemptive justice, but they will commit other crimes in the future. i would say if we all now agree or at least many of us agree with justice kennedy that the result has been a prison system that is barbaric that doesn't belong in a civilized society and serious atonement and i think you would recognize in the california prisons to meet that. let me say why it's a risk. it's always so reasonable to see risk as a way on out of these. i don't think i need to remind those in the room that an
entire population were incarcerated for risk. nobody was held accountable for it either. if you look at the way this is a risk, you see racial class is at the end of the day
the right kind of community ties and is risk reduction. professor simon, let me ask a follow-up. i want to get an idea of what a
system you are advocating would look like. let's say you have arraignment for somebody in a case alleging violence. maybe an armed robbery or sexual assault of some kind. are you comfortable with someone having a right to be released on their own recognizant under the theory that the police should do their work and make sure that person doesn't commit other offenses? and that it's not legitimate to make that consideration at the time of a bail assessment? >> i think that is my view, i think through slow steps we accumulated a system that has a ton of minor offenders and not able to accused in that way. and the right of the constitution and the rights we have made up for the mistakes
made. we have to toss out the low-level crimes not just in the city but many parts of the state. and with that bandwidth of focus, we focus on the areas and a activity and crime and less on locking people up. in either case we are punishing the people ahead of their trial. after all 3% of americans receive a trial at this point. in what we like to think as our justice system that's a moderate risk system that i think has failed. >> let me ask our law enforcement officials, mirkarimi and george gascÓn, do you agree with professor simon? could we have a system that didn't like to the likelihood of
reoffense or what the charge is or looked whether or not someone is coming back to court. >> go ahead. >> yes, i was referencing earlier there has to be stakeholders all the page. and for the sheriff department to reclassify and allow someone to be released, pretrialed, supervi supervised and that's high majority of the time. but if there was criteria
charged and not just based on discretion of the sheriff or the district attorney. but the criteria to reconfigure and acknowledge so it's a part of law in the city and county of san francisco. that to me affirms our commitment to what this experiment would look like. to make a product of the discretionary act by those elected. so goes with that experiment the tentativeness of what this commitment would actually be. why is why -- which is why i would like to see what the mayor's office and board of supervisors to look at those forms of discipline and what they look like to us. >> i recognize the fear -- and i think it's a fear, not even a concern that professor simon has creating an assessment tool that
can be manipulated for low-level offenses or drug offenses that can end up like the impact much like we have today with the commercial bail system. but i believe there is a way that we can create validated risk assessment tools that would look at the areas of concern. whether we are talking about the likelihood for reoffending in a violent way or the likelihood of not showing up in court. i think there are systems in place that show a tremendous amount of promise. and we can continue to go down that path to create that tool to avoid to the greatest extent possible picking on those things that frankly large people are incarcerated in the past and still in many cases. and taking those away. and looking at the real risk.